The bike brings me to what must be now one of my favourite places on earth. The bridge rattles with energy, mountains at one end, a busy city on the other, acres of blue sky overhead. A couple of grinning runners pass me, pumping their fists each time they jump a grating.
Between me and the bay, the safety railing is barely chest-high. On the other side there's a ledge, wide enough to sit on and look out at the world, exposed to the drop. It's as if it's saying "Look at all this. This is amazing. ... But it's your call, man."
And somehow, that's incredibly life-affirming.
Even there, I don't stop for long. More than usual, on this trip I'm spending each day, each hour, preparing for the next one. It's difficult to stay in the moment. I wake up in the morning and do work, solving hard problems over email, never far from stress. I spend my evenings booking flights, cars, learning the LA road code in preparation for a very short and slightly mad trip.
I used to think diving, or maybe climbing, was the most expensive of the hobbies in terms of time, money, stress, and risk, but it's not even close. Travel is startlingly inefficient. But I've been thinking about Doubt, and standing in the sunshine, listening to a man play the saxophone, waiting for the vintage cable car that'll take me up the hill overlooking the bay, I think I've found my answer.
After six years, dozens of trips, do I enjoy this?
Yeah. Yeah, I fucking do.